The NFL world was turned on its head Monday morning when Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones went very public in his desire to get traded.
It has been something of an open secret for a while now that Jones wanted out, but the whispers turned into a scream thanks to some blunt honesty on Fox Sports’ Undisputed.
This is huge: Shannon Sharpe called Julio Jones live on @undisputed: Julio said he’s “out of there” when asked if he wants to stay in Atlanta. He also said he doesn’t want to go to the Cowboys. “I want to win.”
Holy cow. I don’t think he knew he was live. pic.twitter.com/5D8cXjclQt
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) May 24, 2021
“I’m outta there,” Jones told Shannon Sharpe.
So assuming what Jones is saying is true, and that a trade for him is inevitable, what might it look like?
According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, the Falcons want at least one first-rounder for him.
“The trouble is, after asking inquiring teams for a first-round pick for Jones before the draft, the climate in the NFL right now isn’t conducive to getting value for an expensive 32-year-old receiver,” he wrote.
Jones’ contract makes that something of a tall ask.
“Jones’s deal overall, if he can still be Julio Jones, isn’t horrible—he’s due $38.326 million over the next three years. The trouble is the structure,” Breer continued.
“He’s due a fully guaranteed $15.3 million this year, meaning there are just eight teams (Jaguarss, Jets, Broncos, Bengals, Lions, Browns, Chargers, Niners) that have the space to deal for him without moving money around. On top of that, he’s got $2 million guaranteed for next year, meaning if you want to move on then, you’ll have paid $17.3 million, plus a pick, presumably, for one year.”
The Falcons selected Jones with sixth overall pick in the 2011 draft and he’s been with the franchise ever since. He led the NFL in receiving twice (2015 and 2018) and in yards per game three times (2015, 2016 and 2018). Along the way, Jones has made seven Pro Bowls and was named first-team All-Pro in 2015 and 2016.
That’s one way to do it. https://t.co/RVCn0k8Cbz
— Game 7 (@game7__) May 24, 2021
Because of that, it should come as no surprise that there are a decent amount of teams interested in procuring his services – including one in particular that he really wants to play for.
At this point, it seems like something of a foregone conclusion that Jones won’t be playing in Atlanta next year.
Where will he ultimately end up?
Time will tell.